Living Off The Land: Reality Check

I can’t count the number of times I have heard someone say that they don’t need to worry about storing food because they will “live off the land.” A lot of the time I hear this from guys who spend thousands of dollars per year on gear, a lease, food plots, feed, and fuel in order to bag a couple of deer each season; maybe a couple hundred pounds of meat. Which they field dress (maybe) and then take to a butcher or “processor” to be turned into usable food products.

Small game such as squirrel and rabbit seem to be a staple fall back position for some. I bet they haven’t stopped to consider how many calories are to be had from squirrels (about 130-135) or rabbits (around 800). I doubt many have calculated how many of them it would take to provide enough daily calories for a highly active individual, like someone who is actively hunting and gathering, (25 squirrels or four rabbits).

To be honest, I haven’t done that math either (then again, I never assumed I could feed myself and my family by foraging and hunting) but the guys over at the Wood Trekker blog have and it makes for an eye opening read.

Be sure and check it out here:

God bless.


15 thoughts on “Living Off The Land: Reality Check

  1. My grandparents went through the great depression in the Tennessee Appalachian mountains. They told stories of hiking for days and days, hunting for anything that would not shoot back. There was ZERO game. No squirrels, no rabbits, no deer, nothing.

    If you plan on coming into my mountains to hunt for game during hard times, you should be aware that I will be hunting you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. If a deer or similar is harvested, then necessary steps need to be taken so the meat does not spoil. If you have that ability, then boning the meat might be best. If all else fails, diminish waste by making scraps into ground meat, or cutlets, or cubed. Calories are good, but a fat source is also needed. People freaked out when I ate brain and eyeballs. Hog face, in a loaf, is very nice, but people are squeamish. Little attention is ever given to root vegetables, so that is where I would concentrate. I have the Atlantic Ocean right here, so waterfowl, fish, and shellfish, are nice. Then there is seaweed (kelp).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to agree with that. Even though I worked in a slaughterhouse for a year, during that time and after, while drying meats, a bit of it spoiled and went bad. It goes exactly as you have often said, which is, do it before your life depends on it.
        (I think I met someone whose name was “Montezuma”.)

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Good article, but don’t forget the important knowledge of viable plant/fruit/root based foods in the local area. We counted at least a dozen plants and mushrooms edible in our area in a short walk through an abandoned field. Fish are also extremely important as would the need to be close to water

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping in and commenting!
      If you read down to the bottom of the original article they do go into a similar analysis of the caloric value of various plants as well. It is not comprehensive but it does give a pretty good overview. Living off the land by foraging or hunting will be a tough life.
      There are reasons our ancestors began to farm and ranch instead of hunt and gather and there are pretty good reasons that they chose the specific plants they did.
      God bless!


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